When I go on an expensive hunt (all african hunts are expensive to me) the quality of the trophies/animals is the main thing I am looking for. Second is the quality of the PH/support staff and how friendly they are. Lodging would be a distant third. As long as bedding is clean it is okay.
Originally Posted by UxbridgeSafari
Services that I don't need is the vehicle washed nightly, clothes including underwear ironed, (unless your hunting is in a putzi fly area) swimming pool, etc.
For those of you that own game farms it may not make sense to try to set up a tented camp (low end) away from your home/lodge that is already built. For those of you with concessions a tented camp may equate to luxury if the concession owner doesn't allow permanent structures. Target the market you want to serve and market your hunts accordingly. If you have the facilities to target multiple hunter markets, that puts you ahead of the game. The main thing is to provide a great hunting experience. This includes being courteous and fun to be around.
The great thing for the hunter is that there are so many PH's, game farms available in africa that we can make our own choices for the level of luxury vs. cost that we want.
If I may step in one more time.
Lets not get caught up in semantics. When I'm talking 4 star I'm relating it to hunting camp norms. Not something like what we have here near me with a place called Amangiri". That is a 5 + star world wide organization that runs about $1200/night for the room (food extra!). There is a "small" market from what I can see for Ultra-luxury camps. I also see and under-served market for the "older" couple (50+) who want to come but the wife is hesitant because she thinks it's a "tented camp" like she sees on TV for elk or sheep camps. Many have no idea what is the "norm" for what I refer to 4 star facilities. Does that mean it has hot showers, yes. Does that mean it has a porcelain throne, yes. Does that mean it has laundry service, yes. I could go on but I think you get what I mean. It doesn't mean a waiter standing by each guest at dinner or a cigar room. What I see and hear is that the basic necessities of a vacation for men AND women are what is needed to be brought out and promoted. There is a lot of missed business in this segment because of lack of information. Even exhibitors at the big shows from venues NOT related to hunting (clothes, art) have no idea of what is available in a good African camp. Believe it or not, it's true. Now could someone in their 30s get along with a low price basic camp, sure. Is that where the most business is, I don't think so. Unfortunately the African hunting business may be mostly based in those over say 45-50 years old. And I feel this market does need the "4 star" type of camp. How many wives tag along as a non-hunter on back country elk or sheep hunts? How many go to say Quebec on a caribou hunt with 15 other hunters if they don't hunt? What you call 4 star and what I call 4 star may differ but marketing and facilities probably go to where the market is.
I hope I didn't step on any toes, it's just my opinion and it's worth what you paid for it;)